“The bitter truth is that Nigeria is still in the throes of economic instability, with more people losing jobs and the attendant outcome of more children being out of school and more families having hard times in accessing basic needs of life.”
Let me declare from the outset that this irrefutable assertion by the former vice-president and PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election should not be seen as an oppositional tantrum! Far from it as it is even an understatement of the state of our nation in holistic terms, taking cognition of copious other anchors of acute underdevelopment and poverty of human existentialism here. Our human development index is one of the worst in the world.
There is no doubt that more Nigerians are out of job than the privileged few in employment who routinely lose their work because of institutional challenges that cannot sustain them. Because of the nature of our egalitarian society, once someone loses their job, it has ripple effect down the family line and other serial dependent externals. Take a walk down the streets and bus-stops between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., in any part of the country, you will be amazed by the degree of youth unemployment!
Have you also noticed that more and more school-age children are out of the classroom for reasons that border largely on inability of some parents and guardians to meet financial demands on knowledge acquisition? Public primary and secondary schools these days are nothing to write home about! It is better your ward stays at home than to waste time moonlighting in such places.
As the PDP standard-bearer pointed out in his evaluative treatise on the state of the nation last year, more and more families are finding it extremely difficult coping with the excruciating challenges of life. The cost of living these days had long burst the roof, just as, concomitantly, there is no question of standard of living anymore! More and more families that I know are leaving Lagos for their villages where they will avoid some bills. In the past there were no such forced relocations. Do you also know that more and more people are dying these days in their prime?
It is obvious from all indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may end up being worse than the hounded People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
So far, it has been one step forward and nine steps backwards. The party, as represented by President Muhammadu Buhari, seems unprepared for the country’s leadership, overwhelmed by challenges of governance and uncoordinated—almost confused and clueless! This administration needs to get its act together.
My earlier position that our tale of woe should be blamed on former president Goodluck Jonathan—and not Buhari—has not changed. Issuing from that standpoint, the next submission would be this: what is this government doing to right the wrongs of the past and move us away from stagnancy?
There is nothing to suggest whatsoever that this government has the capacity and competency to re-engineer this country. Power was divinely thrust on those in its corridors without leadership empowerment and direction. I have the strong conviction that the APC bigwigs never knew reins would come to them on an ill-prepared platter hence the growing and scandalous bewilderment in their mismanagement of the ordained victory.
In his New Year message, President Buhari declared that he appreciates Nigerians’ sacrifices.
The hardship and excruciating times in the country do not call for prosaic addresses. What the people need is the mitigation of their circumstances and not sweet nuggets and etymological architecture of promises that will be unfulfilled—not being the first time.
The way we are going, most of us will die before the anticipated/promised El Dorado. As bad as it was, the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of ex-president Ibrahim Babangida’s regime was not as asphyxiating as this visionless and despondent time.
There is nothing that suggests a better tomorrow. The whole environment is gloomy, catastrophic and frightfully irredeemable, almost. The level of poverty, want and hopelessness-cum-haplessness of the “average” (the middle class if it still exists) Nigerian is atrociously unprecedented, unimaginable and unconscionable. It has transcended official callousness.
God bless Atiku for this intervention even as I know there would be no remediation by those in the fleeting corridors of power. The narrative remains evergreen.